Arsenal announce Calum Chambers has become the THIRD Gunners player to contract coronavirus after Albert Sambi Lokonga and Pablo Mari’s diagnoses last week
- Arsenal have announced defender Calum Chambers has contracted coronavirus
- Chambers was not named in Arsenal’s squad for their cup clash with Sunderland
- Albert Sambi Lokonga and Pablo Mari tested positive for the virus last week
- Midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles is also ill but it is not coronavirus-related
- Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal face Sunderland in the Carabao Cup last eight on Tuesday
Arsenal have confirmed that Calum Chambers is the latest player to come down with coronavirus ahead of their Carabao Cup quarter-final with Sunderland.
The 26-year-old defender was not included in the Gunners’ last eight clash with the Black Cats on Tuesday night, with the north London club announcing that Chambers is the third Gunners player to contract the virus in the past week.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta revealed over the weekend that midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and defender Pablo Mari also tested positive before their victory at Leeds on Saturday.
But the Gunners have stressed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ illness – which has ruled him out of the Sunderland clash as well – is not Covid-related.
The Spanish coach told Sky Sports before the cup quarter-final: ‘We had two issues: Ainsley is ill and Callum tested positive. We lost those two.’
Arsenal have confirmed that Calum Chambers is the third Gunners player to test positive for coronavirus
The north Londoners revealed Albert Sambi Lokonga (left) and Pablo Mari (right) tested positive last week
Chambers would have been in line to start Tuesday night’s cup clash for Arsenal as Arteta made wholesale changes to his starting line-up for the Emirates Stadium encounter.
Arteta made nine changes with only centre-back Ben White and midfielder Martin Odegaard keeping their places in the team.
Defenders Cedric Soares, Nuno Tavares and Rob Holding come into the team, with Mohamed Elneny another new face in the midfield.
Midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles is sick for Arsenal but the illness is not coronavirus-related
Emile Smith Rowe will start his first match since December 2 in a new-look attack which includes Nicolas Pepe and young duo Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun.
Arsenal are looking to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals for the first time in four years, when they beat Chelsea to reach the 2018 final but lost to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The Gunners have not won the League Cup since 1993.
Sunderland, who are playing in the third tier of English football, have never won this competition before but did reach the final in 2014 – where they also lost to City.
Arsenal squad for Sunderland: Leno; Cedric, White, Holding, Tavares; Pepe, Elneny, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Nketiah; Balogun
Subs: Ramsdale, Tierney, Partey, Gabriel, Saka, Lacazette, Xhaka, Martinelli, Patino